I enjoy living in a neat and organized home. I appreciate it when a room is tidy and everything has a place. The idea of minimalism appealed to me even though I knew I could never reach what most would consider true minimalism. But, after reading some of the recent books on decluttering your house, I decided to try it out. I printed lists, read blogs, and watched Youtube videos. My results weren’t perfect and I’ve realized that I made some mistakes along the way. Getting rid of things to make your home more functional is great. But don’t declutter just for the sake of the purging process. In my experience, this can lead to decluttering regrets.
Where’s my stuff?
One of my biggest regrets now is that I find myself missing things I got rid of. Most of the books and articles I read said that people never miss the things they purge. For the most part, I would say this is true. But there are some clothing items and a few accessories that I’ve looked for and realized that I must have donated them. I love to read and have an extensive collection of books for myself and our homeschool room. But books take up a lot of space so I also got rid of many of my books while cleaning out my shelves and bins. At the time I decluttered those books, I’m sure I thought I’d never want to read them again. I’ve had more time to read lately and have realized that I would like to read them or just reference them again. Sentimental items can be the hardest things to get rid of. So be sure to think it through before you throw out those old photos and other stuff from the past.
I’m sure the books I read and the videos I watched on decluttering were helpful to many. At the time I thought the advice I was reading could be applied to anyone. Now I realize that decluttering is very personal. Maybe I have too much of an attachment to certain things. One of the most common themes in the decluttering world is the advice to get rid of things ASAP. Experts tend to advise you not to let your discarded items sit around in your house for any length of time. This can work for anyone who’s completely certain that they want to gid rid of the stuff in question. But if you’re not sure about some of the items, I think it’s best to store them away for a short time period to see if you find yourself wanting them later. This is especially true for seasonal clothes, holiday decorations, and stuff you don’t use year-round. Obviously, you don’t want to hold onto old junk in your house and let it take up valuable space. At the same time, you don’t want to hurry to get rid of something only to later find that you miss it.
Declutter your way
I think minimalism is a lofty goal that’s not realistic for many people. Those tidy spaces with very little clutter look nice. But to me, a nearly-empty room isn’t warm or inviting. There has to be a happy medium where we can have the stuff we want without living in a cluttered home. If you decide to do some serious decluttering of your space, be sure to think carefully about what you want to get rid of. Don’t assign an arbitrary number for how many books you can own or how many pairs of shoes you should have. If you have the space to do so, store your questionable items for a short while. This gives time to be certain what you want to do with them. Be conscientious of the space you have so you don’t end up with decluttering regrets.